Week 13 Artist Interview: Shihori Nakayama

Shihori Nakayama

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The description of the exhibit in the Dutzi Gallery this week was the following: “Shihori Nakayama’s MA illustration show includes pen and ink drawings and relief prints that serve as documentaries of her personal life and influences.”

I was initially drawn to this exhibit upon closer examination of the pieces in this gallery. As you can tell from the example above, the artwork that was displayed was extremely detailed and interesting to look at. These pieces are in fact, hand drawn, finished by using either print or ink. The sheer level of detail that went a number of the artworks were astounding: it is rare that I am left in awe from an art exhibit. I felt the work displayed today required great talent and finesse only shared by a very few amount of people in the world. Much of the imagery was difficult for me to interpret, however. I believe this to be the case because this particular body of work connects with the artist on a very personal level. This art exhibit shows pieces that depict places and people that are relevant to the artist’s life. She uses personal photographs for inspiration and then creates imagery from her imagination. Through art, the artist is trying to welcome people into her view of the world, and to examine details closely and then become “lost in the moment”. I felt that this was my exact reaction towards the art works. I quite enjoy it when art is fused with heavy imagery: it creates the same effect as reading an interesting story from a novel.

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Week 13 Classmate Interview: Macmaster

I interviewed Macmaster a while ago, and I found it to be one of the most interesting interviews I’ve done for this class- hell, how many people do you know with that last name? Anyways, Macmaster is currently a senior/fourth year at CSULB. So it was expected that he is a bit older than me: 22 years old, to be specific. Macmaster lives somewhere in Fresno, so he commutes to school in the same manner that I do on class days. He is currently a biology major and is looking into becoming a dentist. I applaud him for his effort in his field of study: it is certainly a demanding field and it seems like Macmaster has endured a good amount of time in his major without a desire to drop out. Let’s hope that he becomes a baller once he gets going with his Dentist career. We discussed a number of topics: even some random ones. For instance, we both agreed that we had a desire to grow beards- after all, nothing else is a bigger indicator of manhood than facial hair. His hobbies include snowboarding and working out. For his favorite foods…it seems that Macmaster is open to foods from different cultures. He states that he enjoys sushi and Mochi(dessert): these are quite popular in Japan and originate from there. Macmaster is also employed, unlike myself. He works at an Outback steak house, located in Long Beach. He does have a gripe with this particular job, however. He feels that he was born a leader and does not want to be weighed down by the demands of a boss. I can emphasize with him- “kissing ass” is what I hope to avoid in the future. I found Macmaster to be a cool dude: I wish him the best of luck in the future as he finishes up his years at CSULB.

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Week 12 Activity: Algorithmic Art

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When I heard about Algorithmic Art, I immediately remembered about a math assignment (Algebra II Honors class) in which I had to depict Algorithmic Art, but in poster board size. I chose to do the following:

1. Start out with a circle

2. Draw two circles of equal size, each circle touching one end of the big circle

3. Repeat within the smaller circles

Anyways, this project was so memorable because my teacher deducted points from my project because I wasn’t able to cut out the circles perfectly (too many jagged edges). Depressing, isn’t it?

For this week’s Activity I wanted to do something similar, but with more than one type of shape.

1. Draw a Hexagon.

I chose to use a hexagon first and then add triangles. There are two instructions for where to add triangles:

2. Make a triangle, using each of the sides of the hexagon as a base. There should be six triangles as a result.

3. Draw a triangle, with the vertices of the base  located at the halfway points on the sides of the Hexagon.

4. DO NOT color in the area in which two triangles overlap. This is simply to make it look better.

I did not make the middle triangles long enough. My intention was that you can trace the corners of the triangles, and this would create a larger hexagon with the previous pattern on the inside. Then you can repeat all of the steps above, so that this pattern would get larger and larger.

Week 12 Interview Classmate: John Sayson

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This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing John Sayson. John Sayson is currently in his third year of college, and he is a pre-film major. There seems to be a lot of enthusiastic film majors in this school: must be a great program! Anyways, I was surprised to hear that John Sayson actually lives near the city that I currently reside in, Artesia. John Sayson was born in Artesia but lived in Colorado for much of his childhood life. He moved back to Artesia in 2005. He also shares a number of similarities with myself: For instance, John Sayson was first attracted to this art 110 class after deciding to finish his art g.e requirement. We are also both first generation Americans born from Asian immigrants- his parents are Filipino and mine are Vietnamese, however. We both talked about hobbies and we even share a great interest in fitness and MMA. John Sayson, like myself, is currently getting into shape with weight lifting. He hopes to be proficient in boxing/jiu jitsu, which is badass. We even went to CSULB for the same basic reasons: it is convenient and close to home. Lastly, we also share a love of junk food and Korean BBQ.

John Sayson is aspiring to find his calling within the film industry. He mentioned that he would love to be a director of sorts, but feels that his GPA is weighing him down.

I honestly hope that Mr. John Sayson doesn’t give up on his dream of becoming a director. I feel that he has plenty of years left to go, and in that time I believe that anything is possible. I understand how it feels to have your dreams crushed by something as superficial as GPA. However, I strongly disagree that individual achievement can be limited by something as trivial as GPA. I wish good luck to John Sayson and hope he succeeds in following his dreams.

Week 12 Interview (Artist): Piet Eppinga

Piet Eppinga:

One of this week’s exhibitions was located in The Merlino Gallery: A BFA ceramics show. The purpose of this show is to explore themes of humanity and the human experience. I was drawn towards this exhibit because of the sheer size of the sculptures and also because they depicted human-like figures with some unique and interesting features. Piet Eppinga opened up his exhibition at 11 sharp, and he seemed to have a great passion for his work. I quite enjoyed his interaction with spectators and he was generous enough to give a detailed analysis of each of his works, which are full of symbolism.

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This particular piece is tiltled, “Songharijaneszzchee Unman”, which is also a name for the woman depicted here. There is quite a bit of symbolism going on in this piece: for example, the breasts symbolize nourishment for the child but are depicted in a way that they are elongated and heavy looking. This is an emphasis on the joys and burdens of motherhood and its importance to humanity. The lower half of the artwork is the woman’s skirt, which is depicted with flaws and blemishes. The skirt is symbolic of feminine beauty, but here it is depicted in a way that shows stress and anguish. It is very representative of life: both a blessing and a curse. I believe the pot on her head is a urn, like a urn to hold a deceased person’s ashes. This is symbolic of the weight carried from past ancestors.

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This other art piece was quite interesting to me as the symbolism is more apparent. The artist made a statement that this piece does not dispute/criticize nor promote traditional Christian beliefs. It is simply making an observation about the current nature of the Christian church. You’ll notice that it is shaped like a tombstone. This is in reference to the declining membership in the Christian Churches (specifically in Europe). Jesus is depicted in the middle with the holes from his crucifixion and the cross. The crosses adjacent to him are the two other people that were crucified next to him. This art piece is kind of like an observation. Ancient Egyptian religions practically disappeared in practice over the course of 100 years, and it is interesting that in today’s time, we are also experiencing a shifting of religious beliefs- which could also indicate that humans are changing. I found this week’s exhibit to be very though provoking. I think that this is one of the most pleasing aspects of art: being able to read a message being transmitted through the use of clever symbolism.

Week 11 Conversation: Artist Interview (Patricia Rangel) REBUILDING

REBUILDING: by Patricia E. Rangel

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One of last week’s exhibits is titled “Rebuilding” and was located in the Werby Gallery. I’ll have to admit that the first thing I noticed was a pile of dirt on the floor, and that immediately drew my attention, as it seemed somewhat out of place. The inspiration for this particular gallery was the artist’s interest in particular stages of the agricultural practices. This includes how plants are watered, picked, burned, and replanted. The artist has also created curiosity from how particular practices are used to promote more growth, such as trellises, insulated fabric covers, and mesh. I noticed that most of the words present are comprised of mainly two materials: either metal or dirt. Although dirt is seen as something with negative connotations similar to the word ‘unclean’, I found it fascinating that dirt could ever be utilized as an art material. The more I ponder about the representation of dirt in these art works, I find more understanding. In an agricultural sense, dirt enables growth and helps promote it. There is a lot of potential and life that comes from dirt, an important element of the earth. It is noted that most of the art work comprises of compacted dirt that is shaped into different forms. Another interesting fact is that the artist collected the materials from places of personal significance, such as her grandfather’s ranch and her parent’s backyard.

The piece that caught my attention is titled, “A Racehorse That Has Never Won A Race”. The materials used was brass, steel, 14k gold, and dirt from Smith Mountain cemetery. The chain’s links each represent a baby buried, and the gold link represented the artist’s sister, Corine, who died 8 days after her birth. The links are also shaped to mimic the shape of the parameter of the cemetery. I found that this particular art piece is probably representative of the potential that was symbolized earlier, but only lost potential.